Model Gigi Hadid has come under scrutiny after posting her new Vogue Italia cover to her 40 million Instagram followers on Wednesday (May 2). Many users have expressed their disdain with the model, claiming her “deep bronze tan” was reminiscent of blackface.
The shoot is supposed to represent “high voltage” power women according to the 23-year-old’s Instagram caption. While Hadid may not look like herself, she is not in blackface but instead in need of a really good shower to wipe away that unflattering amount of self-tanner.
The photo was taken by esteemed photographer Steven Klein. While he may be known for his striking photography, he also likes to implement the use of intense bronzing/tanning. This technique also came under question when he shot Kim Kardashian for Interview Magazine in a Jackie-O reminiscent way. Many Instagram users thought the reality television star appeared to have darkened skin. However, as seen in most of his work, Klein seems to toy with the idea of black and white to create stark contrasted imagery.
Sneak Peek at our May Issue ⚡️ on Newsstands Friday May 4th! ⚡️ A story for #HighVoltage 🔌⚡️ power women ⚡️ @gigihadid in @dolcegabbana photographed by @stevenkleinstudio styled by @patti_wilson Full Credits 💡 Justin Martin @justin.e.martin @ Next Models NY #GigiHadid @ Img Editor in chief @efarneti Creative director @gb65 Hair by Ward @ward_hair @ The Wall Group Make-up Fulvia Farolfi @fulviafarolfi Manicurist Honey @honeynailz at Exposure NY casting Piergiorgio Del Moro @pg_dmcasting and Samuel Ellis Scheinman @samuel_ellis Production LOLA Production @lolaproduction Set Design Andrea Stanley @andrea_stanley_ @ Streeter’s #dolce&gabbana #stevenklein #pattiwilson
However, this is not Hadid’s first time being accused of blackface or being racially insensitive. Back in 2015, the model came under fire for her Vogue Italia shoot with legendary photographer Steven Meisel. The “Power of Personality” shoot pictured the model in various colorful afros and noticeably darker skin.
In 2017, Hadid dropped out of walking in the Victoria Secret Fashion Show which took place in China after a video of her surfaced in which she appeared to be mocking Asian features. Her sister, fellow model Bella Hadid, posted a video to Snapchat of her holding up a Buddha-shaped cookie while squinting her eyes and smiling.
Maybe it’s just time for the young model to stop working with Vogue Italia.